We have two major problems in the US when it comes to being “Green”. The first big problem is commuting to work. Many of us drive many miles a week just getting to work. It costs an outrageous amount of money. Many people are ready to live closer to work if possible, but then how can we find a place to live that is adequate for our needs? Additionally jobs are less secure than they have ever been so moving for one has its own risks. Then, if you have a big house in the ‘burbs’, who will buy it?
Everyone else in the world is looking to downsize and move closer to town, too. McMansions that are 50 miles from city center are equally unmarketable in most cities. Even if you could find someone who wants it, they might not qualify for a loan. Our other big problem with living “Green” is conventional housing burns through an incredible amount of power to heat and cool. And the household appliances that make life easier cost money to run, too. Building codes have only addressed utility costs ineffectually in this country. Stick-built houses are rickety, inefficient and cost an outrageous amount of money to build and finance. The financing is part of the equation when we start figuring out how much we have to work and how much money we need to make.
Most of us really work for lenders not to fulfill our own immediate needs. We pay lots of interest that we have to work harder to pay than we really want to work. So it makes the whole issue of housing and utility bills central to our personal happiness and our personal cost of living. It also may make us rethink what kind of home we want and what kind of career we want. Taking a bit of time out when one is young to build a home may be a way to insure your own personal freedom and future success. It also might pay off well to have a home that is much more energy efficient than conventional houses.
Our current home is built into the side of a mountain. The first floor includes a bath, laundry, one bedroom and a kitchen, dining and den. We spend most of our time in our first floor, earth sheltered retreat that is cool in summer and warm in winter. We don’t even use the rest of our house except when we have guests. We like it so much that we are planning to build another home that is essentially just a daylight basement where we will live full time. It’s cozy, safe, cheap to build and easy to heat and cool. Most foundations in our mountain location have to have serious basement foundations anyway so making one functional just makes economic sense. The rest of the house no longer seems necessary to our comfort and happiness.
When it storms we want to be in the basement anyway. Living in an earth-sheltered structure full time is our choice and our comfortable pleasure.
Paula and Ron Stone own a note buying business. Their company purchases private mortgages as well as helps property sellers with the terms of their note in order to get a better price when they need to sell the note. Learn more about note buying and selling and owner financing at Selling A Note or Managing A Mortgage Note